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Little Black Boy, The Analysis

Author: Poetry of William Blake Type: Poetry Views: 2286

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My mother bore me in the southern wild,

And Iam black, but oh my soul is white!

White as an angel is the English child,

But I am black, as if bereaved of light.

My mother taught me underneath a tree,

And, sitting down before the heat of day,

She took me on her lap and kissed me,

And, pointed to the east, began to say:

"Look on the rising sun: there God does live,

And gives His light, and gives His heat away,

And flowers and trees and beasts and men receive

Comfort in morning, joy in the noonday.

"And we are put on earth a little space,

That we may learn to bear the beams of love

And these black bodies and this sunburnt face

Is but a cloud, and like a shady grove.

"For when our souls have learn'd the heat to bear,

The cloud will vanish, we shall hear His voice,

Saying, 'Come out from the grove, my love and care

And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice',"

Thus did my mother say, and kissed me;

And thus I say to little English boy.

When I from black and he from white cloud free,

And round the tent of God like lambs we joy

I'll shade him from the heat till he can bear

To lean in joy upon our Father's knee;

And then I'll stand and stroke his silver hair,

And be like him, and he will then love me.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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the Little Black Boy’ shows the prejudice he encounters due to his skin colour. It is one of the most political poems Blake wrote, due to the slavery backdrop, and the seriousness is portrayed through the pentameter, something not common in Blake’s works. Britain at the time was involved in the slave trade with the economy depending upon slave labor yet during Blake’s lifetime a radical shift emerged towards Britain involvement and the abolition slowly occurred with the eventual liberation of slaves.

| Posted on 2010-05-03 | by a guest

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